Dame Deborah James was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and even when it progressed to stage 4, becoming incurable, she kept up her brave and positive front.

The inspirational former deputy head, 40, has faced round after round of excruciating treatment but rather incredibly has managed to remain positive, upbeat and glamorous at the same time.

Since being discharged from hospital into home hospice care she's defied all odds in her way having been given just eight per cent five-year survival odds, as well as being told she would only have days left on May 9.


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Even though the mother of two continues to march on she has been incredibly open about how her condition is affecting her.

Deborah has said she finds it increasingly hard to stay awake, even for a short amount of time but has admitted to being scared to sleep in case she doesn't wake up.

In an open and honest interview with The Sun, she said: "I do not want to die – I can’t get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids' weddings or see them grow up – that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much.

"I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in."

Even so, she still insists that she cooks for her family every night, including son Hugo, 14, and daughter Elouise, 12, with help from her dad Alistair.

She told the publication: "I find cooking really therapeutic at the moment, not that I ever actually eat the food.

"I am painfully slow at everything, but Dad just patiently helps. The other night cooking fajitas took about an hour and a half, when it should’ve taken 30 minutes.

"Rather than just try and do it for me, he passed me the different ingredients and lets me do my thing. It sounds like a small thing, but it means the world – and I love doing it with him."

As well as her dad helping her care for her children, she chose to receive end of life care at her parents' house in Woking rather than at her own home in London.

This was a decision to protect her children from bad memories.

Also, when her brother Ben recently got engaged to his partner Claire, Deborah insisted on using all her energy to throw them a party to remember.

And it's not just her own family that she continues to fight for. Since she revealed that her active treatment had ended on May 9, she has raised millions of pounds through her tireless campaigning to stop 'other Deborahs' having to suffer the same fate.

Announcing that the end was near, she asked supporters to donate the price of a drink to "see me out of this world" to her Bowel Babe fund, and the response was unimaginable, with £6.7million in the pot to date.

She's also raised another million through her Dame Deborah clothing collaboration with In The Style, and their Rebellious Hope t-shirts.

Taking to Instagram, she told her followers: "‘Rebellious Hope’ is what has got me through the last few years and it’s what is keeping me going now!"

"Seeing all your messages, tags and support has just been the best and I am so grateful that we have been able to do this together!"

Then finally, she also was able to fundraise through the sale of her book, How to Live When You Could be Dead, which went to number one in the Amazon best sellers list.

The funds will be used to fund research and equipment to beat the killer disease.

With such an extraordinary reaction to the terrifying fate that lies ahead for her there is no wonder that the public's pleas for Deborah to be made a dame were answered when Prince William actually visited her parents' home to bestow the honour on May 13.


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